A former screenwriter and independent filmmaker, Jenny Bowen founded Half the Sky in 1998 in order to give something back to China, her adopted daughters’ home country and to the many orphaned and abandoned children then languishing behind institutional walls. Today, Half the Sky has grown into a global NGO that has transformed the lives of many thousands of marginalized children and helped China to reimagine its entire child welfare system. Recognizing the universality of its approach to early education and nurture, Half the Sky has embarked on a new effort to bring its successful, scalable models for change to the world's most vulnerable children. To reflect its broader mission, Half the Sky has become OneSky… OneSky for all children.
In 2008, Ms. Bowen received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; she was chosen by popular vote to carry the Olympic Torch on Chinese soil; and in that same year, Half the Sky became one of only a handful of foreign NGOs officially recognized and legally registered by the Chinese government. Ms. Bowen has been honored with the American Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Influence 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the 2016 Nonprofit Leader of the Year Award in Hong Kong and the Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation.
She serves on China’s National Committee for Orphans and Disabled Children and on the Expert Consultative Committee for Beijing Normal University’s Philanthropy Research Institute. She is the author of the memoir, Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains, published by Harper Collins in 2014/2015.